Hong Kong visas won’t save Australian property

With immigration into Australia forecast by the federal government to collapse by 85% in the two years from 2019 because of COVID-19, there was some hoping that immigration could be rebooted by granting massive numbers of visas to Hong Kongers wishing to flee Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tyranny.

Others, like William Bourke from the Sustainable Australia Party were concerned that “well-off [Hong Kong] migrants could drive Sydney and Melbourne housing prices to levels even more unaffordable for ordinary Australians” if massive numbers were suddenly granted asylum.

As it turns out, only around 10,000 Hong Kongers already residing in Australia on temporary visas will be eligible to apply for permanent residency:

Some 10,000 Hong Kong passport holders in Australia will have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency once their visa runs out, Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge says… That includes… mainly students and skilled visa holders.

But Mr Tudge could not guarantee these people would be successful in their application.

“You would still have to apply for it. You still have to pass the character test, the national security test and the like,” Mr Tudge said.

“So it’s not automatic. But it’s certainly an easier pathway to permanent residency. And of course, once you’re a permanent resident, there’s then a pathway to citizenship there.”

The upshot is that these new visa arrangements for Hong Kongers will have minimal impact on the Australian housing market. The numbers are small in the overall scheme of things and those that do end up qualifying for permanent residency are already here.

Thus, the headwinds facing the Australian property market remain the same:

  • Collapsing immigration;
  • High unemployment and falling household incomes;
  • Massive oversupply as huge numbers of apartments are completed, immigration collapses, and short-term-rentals (e.g. Airbnbs) flood the long-term market; and
  • Tapering of emergency income support and mortgage repayment holidays.

Melbourne is most exposed given its extreme reliance on immigration and structurally weak economy, made worse by the second lockdown.

Leith van Onselen


    • Cookie Cutter

      I agree.

      One wonders, however, if the CCP will let them leave? They certainly don’t want them making a noise abroad.

      I think that they’ll be sent to pig-farms for re-eductation, or the expanded camps for the Wuigars.

  1. I think it’s worth considering that a very large number of current residents on temporary visas will transition to citizens in the next 1-2 years. There was a large backlog of applicants for residency and citizenship building up recently. So although NOM may fall significantly I wouldn’t be surprised if they find enough new citizens amongst the current applicants already here.

    • A fair swathe of those will be grandparents from a certain country who came here allegedly on temporary 5 or 10 year parent visas with the condition that they will go back where they came from for the last decade of their lives, when they require 90% of their lifetime medical services. So much for that. Don’t know what Scummo will be printing faster: money or new Medicare cards.

      And just before you wokists accuse me of the r —- word, I am on record as objecting as loudly as anyone when that w##te South African granny in Perth pulled the same stunt.

      Anyone who as of right now is onshore and who is vybrant, or can pass as vybrant in the dark (to paraphrase Clive James), be they chain smoking, s–ual harrassing, male food delivery specialist, or death staring granny is basically assured of being allowed to stay on with full benefits.

    • Exactly what Morrison will do, process a mil onshore temp visas, then reboot migration big-time in 2022 or 2023. Expect Home Affairs to apply their usual stringent criteria, of 4 x limbs and 1 x head.

      Watch Tudge vs Speers. Pretty obvious Tudge is agog at those masterful HK “entrepreneurs”, not HK refugees as such. What’s so special about grabbing that particular country’s entrepreneurs, apart from annoying China?

      Note also, Wong speaking for Labor. Keneally is still under detention, for backing Australian workers. The idea!

    • I thought the backlog was to avoid paying them being paid the dole? Smart move in times like this, aren’t they complaining about not receiving government support? Make them residents with no jobs no income?

  2. I expect 10k is just the start. HKers need to just get here somehow then make public anti china statements then will get granted refugee protection visas then will transition to citizen ship, then will begin sponsoring family members to come. Now with the extradition treaty with HK suspended Oz is an ideal place for the crooked and wealthy to get in with the suitcases of money they use to buy property. Dont think this wont happen.

  3. And the cycle of “X group are being oppressed! We need to take X group in because they’ll work hard and integrate” of Australian ‘compassion’ continues, because every other countries problems are more important than ours.

    Be nice if we can break this cycle and protect our own non-real estate related interests for a change.

  4. Nothing will stop property’s fall, prices are going to continue to fall over the next 5 years, and with RBA and the banks lending money at 2% to people who will never be able to repay (possibly half), it’ll take the banks with it,
    The banks can’t be bailed out, because there is no bounce back in growth this time, and anyone who thinks it will has no idea what’s coming.or what they are talking about.
    The whole world changed in Jan this year and brought a structural shift that was already happening but has brought forward by 5 years
    The move to ONLINE and structural unemployment at levels we haven’t seen or heard about in recent history
    30% to 40% to 50% unemployment and higher over next 10 years with AI Robotics, ONLINE & restrictions travelling between countries ” very restricted immigration, protectionism & authoritarian governments. once government gets the control as it has now they will not fully give it back
    The financial system is in the process of imploding, CB can’t stop the crash that’s coming, and our current capitalist model is going to rebuild around much stronger societal values. This is a shift to higher consciousness, more authoritarianism, socialistic type model that taxes the rich and provides UBI
    The shift io a higher consciousness & community. People who read this site have a higher consciousness and awareness than the average person (or you’d be listening to Craig James & Co)
    Welcome to a new world order, nothing will ever be the same as we knew it, We are moving to a completely new society that is a combination of all those Sci Fi films we’ve watched over the years and more
    @ Gav asked me yesterday why are google amazon share prices higher than pre Feb March this year. Its the rotation to the future that we will be living in.
    We will never see property prices at 2017/19 levels again in our lifetime

        • We maybe should help people understand what’s actually happening.
          Consciousness just means being aware and I know many on this site have a higher consciousness, you are all a little more aware than others that’s why you read MB. You are AWARE at least that something is not quite right
          You are Q the system or else you’d be reading Craig James each morning

      • Exactly
        So what happens in this case. This is what creates civil unrest and violence and wars.
        Governments try like they did in the 1930s and we ended in War
        There is civil unrest everywhere in the world and it’s going to get worse
        Why don’t you help me a little, I know these major trends are happening but I don’t know exactly how it plays out

        I readily admit I’m constantly in search of trying to piece all this together.
        Honestly why don’t you help me a little.
        These things are going on and if people can’t see what’s in front of them they are blind

        Governments are trying to control us…. it’s happened many times in history and it feels to me it’s the same as 1931 when world debt markets collapsed and we ended in war

        There is a shift to a higher consciousness, the current system doesn’t work. We are living a lie in an economic structure that doesn’t work. Greed corruption lies, it’s collapsing write in front of us. So what happens in this change, Are people willing to be oppressed ???
        Instead of criticism tell me what you think???? I’m really interested.

        We are at a point where huge change has been inflicted on us nearly over night. This is going to have extreme consequences.
        Eventually we will get through this initial period and move to a better place but there is a lot of pain to come first

        Ray Dalio talks all about this, look at the way he runs Bridgewater and what he talks about re 1937

        Office he runs with full transparency

        Kris Hades why don’t you write something intelligent, I’ve never read any comment of yours that’s even worth reading

        • BCN,

          Re Online expansion, this is true but I dont believe it will be in the key areas that many think. You need to break spending down into discretionary and non discretionary. For disclosure I work in online payment so get to see behind the curtains of transaction data. The company I work for is up over 60% this year and P/E has gone ballistic. Good for me as I hold stock but i scratch my head wondering how sustainable it will be.

          The reality is that most businesses globally have been caught with their pants down when it comes to online as traditionally it was focussed on omnichannel and majority in store spend. COVID has forced merchants to pull their fingers out and start radically shifting their thinking around digital strategy. Its become a board risk discussion faster than any change I have seen in 15 years of corporate sales. I have had numerous conversations with ASX listed company leaders around this need and it is happening quickly. The crazy valuations we are seeing on Afterpay, Amazon etc are still in my view based on 1 key point, majority of the revenue is still in discretionary spend categories. This is their key risk as discretionary spend falls away with further economic pain. I support high risk industries such as airlines, travel, derivatives trading, equities and gambling. The last 3 are booming on speculation and crazy market movements, the other 2 are incurring more refunds than any incoming revenue.

          In the end, what do people really need? Housing, food, water, energy, healthcare, education, communication services and potentially entertainment considering our online lives. How many of those do Amazon and Afterpay participate in? When the crunch happens as you describe people wont be buying the second pair of LuLu lemons pants, they wont be upgrading their car or fridge. They may spend money on house upgrades and stay put rather than sell (assuming they have incomes). Online education services will be big, remote healthcare delivery will be radically transformed and telco will continue its surge based on network demands and remote working. Watch the annual reports of woolworths and coles, their online spend will continue to surge. Afterpay will grow but it will be based on an increased exposure to US and European merchant growth at the expense of in store. I would predict their transactions per customer will fall dramatically as most of their transactions are tied into discretionary spend merchants. The crazy numbers we are seeing now are due to the MMT funds floating around the economy. If that stops as you predict then they have some serious pain coming. In the meantime it will continue its hurtle towards the moon but be cautious about taking them as a barometer of online health.

          • Gareth

            Thank-you so much for that info.

            I am increasing my short positions.

            These IT companies share price is about to get smashed beyond belief

            US and Europe (the whole world), discretionary spending online is going to collapse.

            Non discretionary essentials (need not want) is going to increase

            Derivatives market is going to blow up, online trading is going to be wiped out to pre covid levels probably lower and gamblers, they will always be around but it’ll be the hard core small punters that have always been there

            As revenue falls, so does PE relative to that lower revenue, these shares are going to fall harder & faster than the speed they went up

            GET READY guys you are about to see DOTCOM bubble 2.0 come to an end

            The trap door is going to open

            Thanks Gareth

        • RBA won’t be able to do anything at all, we’ve never had this damage caused by a virus that’s shut the world, combined with the change to online. Interest rates are zero and we are at PEAK DEBT.
          This economic damage that has been inflicted upon us is like something beyond comprehension. RBA won’t be able to get us out of this one. They are virtually done

          • Display NameMEMBER

            It will just monetise the bail out. Hey it will crash the dollar, but in any other situation I am guessing the RBA will not support (act in market for) the dollar at any point above 30 cents to the USD. Lots of room to move.And this is only after exhausting the Committed Liquidity Facility. Lots of room to move.

          • Not this time, this downturn is way to powerful for any CB
            The world economy is obliterated
            This is bigger than 1998, 2008 ….the debt has just got higher and higher


            There are great ideas UBI monetising debt what every theory MMT
            I don’t know what will come after ……

            The Great Global Deleveraging, equity market meltdown, Aust property market crash both residential and commercial crash is coming first. Global banking crisis & derivatives meltdown pushing interest rates higher over the next 12 months
            The crash will come first before the system is rebuilt on all the theories we discuss
            The crash starts this half and there is no escaping it unfortunately

  5. OfficeboyMEMBER

    yup agree reusa .. Tudge couldn’t say that he’d rubber stamp applications on tv .. are they gonna turn back millionaires ? .. all other things kosher ? .. maybe a few to make it look rigorous & diligent. Apart from that .. welcome to the biggest property gala turnstiles on the pacific ring. (+ racetracks &,casinos).

    • DominicMEMBER

      The wealthy individual visa (SIV) is still accessible and has been at any time to anyone.

      I think you need $5m in funds to buy your way in.

  6. Can’t believe so many people want to let them into the West. What if China does this to all the surrounding countries? Do we take the whole earth until China conquers all? Can’t guarantee that they will always be anti-dictatorship, there’s obviously a genetic component to behaviour that may manifest in later generations.

    • DominicMEMBER

      If they can find jobs. I was having a chat to a recruitment consultant the other day who was saying that was the biggest impediment to coming back — literally no one would have them. Interestingly, many local firms here are highly reticent to hire Aussies who’ve been working abroad – partially resentment and partially suspicion (they are viewed as a threat to the status quo). And a threat to the jobs of senior people.

      • That is 100% true. I know many in this camp. (Recently returned to Sydney after 8+ years in HKG.) “Experienced in Mainland China” is now more of a liability than an asset and it’s the main asset that many have built up in HKG. Aussie attitude towards genuine global outlook and understanding is generally one of suspicion rather than interest.

      • That’s true. I was an expat, came back to AU and was looking for jobs. No one was particularly interested that I had overseas experience. I had thought that a few years abroad would always look good on my resume. But apparently not, which only proved to me that the old boys’ club in Sydney was not a myth but a fact.

        Edit: to clarify, this was a few years ago, not related to the virus.

        • drsmithyMEMBER


          When I cam back to Oz after 3-4 years in Europe and US, the implication from most prospective employers is that time may as well have been spent on holidays.

        • it works both ways. Australian experience isn’t valued that much in UK or USA and vice versa.

          I had nearly 7 years in the US and also found it tough coming back. But then again, the market in Australia is different, why we do things differently than in NY or London is a different question!!

          You need to build a bridge and get over it, or realise that when you work overseas you will stay overseas if you stay too long.

  7. SchillersMEMBER

    Immigration is certainly down on 2019 due to Covid-19. But NOM (Nett Overseas Migration) may well be alive and kicking. There are over 1 million Australians who, at the start of the year, were living and working overseas. Many/most of these are in the process of moving back home. Permanently.
    Many/most are cashed up and will be looking to buy property in Melbourne and Sydney.

    • Once property falls put people into negative equity the dual citizenship jingle mail will begin. Add mass unemployment and the colapse of the “service” economy from reduced discretionary spending and a lot of illegal workers will either go home or not come in the 1st place. Aus population is going to shrink like Ireland did.

  8. Tudge’s position is actually reasonable, as just because someone has a Hong Kong passport this is not mutually exclusive with them being a CCP supporter.

  9. Chinese Australians warn of sleeper agents


    Hong Kong nationals living in Australia are urging the Morrison government to undertake strict political vetting of those fleeing the territory, fearing Chinese Communist Party supporters could take advantage of Scott Morrison’s resettlement offer. Security experts warn Beijing could use the opportunity to plant sleeper agents in Australia, while the sons and daughters of senior CCP officials studying in Australia could also seek a path to permanent residency.

    The Australian can reveal family members of at least two senior Hong Kong government officials — Education Secretary Yeung Yun-hung, and pro-Beijing politician Tam Yiu-chung — are living in Australia. Hong Kong migrants to Australia also fear the families of Hong Kong police members — who led a year-long battle with pro-democracy protesters — could seek Australian residency.

    The Australian government, which has prioritised entry under skilled visa categories, is bracing for a wave of asylum claims from Hong Kong Chinese after 137 applied for refugee status in the year to June 30.

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